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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  February 25, 2011 2:00am-5:59am EST

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the bandwidth needs of their communities, and a unified community anchor network, what we call you can come a proposal basically based on the cleveland community program and we help other communities will do it. .
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i'm very happy today to have three great panelists to discuss this issue and their everyone cations with us. before i introduce them, i'd just like to remind you to turn off cell phones or anything else that might distract our attention from our speakers today. for the audience that is watching the live web cast online, you can participate by sending in a question or comment via facebook and you can also send us messages through twitter by using@palestine center. our event today as i mentioned is focused on the uprisings in the arab world. i'll introduce the panelists in order of which they'll present, and i'll turn it over to them.
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michelle dunne in the middle, an official at the state department and white house in foreign affairs and served on the national security counsel staff, the secretary of state's policy planning staff, and the u.s. embassy in cairo. she holds a ph.d. in arabic language and literature from georgetown university where she's an adjunct professor. seated immediately to my left is nadia hijab, frequently a commentator and serves as a senior fellow at the institute of palestine studies, coauthored citizens apart, and she is editor in chief or was editor in chief of the london based middle east magazine before joining the
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united nations where she established her own consulting business. of course, a man who probably certainly needs no introduction, am base dore yous i have f, directer of global south in washington, d.c., director of arab states from 1961 to 1996 and was appointed at the chief representative of the arab league to the united states and the united nations in september of 1979. i just wanted to mention that some of you may recall ambassador maksoud spoke at the national conference last year in october only a few months before the events began in tunisia, egypt, and now throughout the arab world, and he began
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comments then by saying he is the living dinosaur of the arab world -- [laughter] and that he wanted to disclose his deficits before he spoke about his assets. he is an arab nationalist and he doesn't think that there is a delivery of palestinian rights except through a moment of arab renaissance and unity, so this is, again, just a few months before the events we're seeing today, so i'm glad to welcome the panelists to hear their perspectives on the events sweeping the region. turning it over at this point to michelle. >> thank you yousef, and thank you for the director to invite me to be on the panel. quick words on events of the region and then i'll comment on what this means for the united states for u.s. policy in the region. i think it was, i think it was
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commentary i read earlier today describing the uprisings as a seismic shift. he's right about that. we're facing a new chapter in the middle east. the effects of these uprisings in tunisia and egypt so far libya ongoing and where else it will go will continue to spread for several years at least, and i think if some of these countries makes successful transitions to democracy, tunisia, egypt, iraq, which is still in the process, in a transition process, then the esks are going -- effects are going to last much longer than that, longer than a few yearsment i think the grievances that motivated the
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uprisings and the phenomena that set them off are quite widely shared. we're all aware of the demographic youth bulge in the region, something that many people had been watching for a long time and wondering what kind of an effect it would have, and unfortunately the unemployment and underemployment that accompanied that youth bulge and the sense of disenfranchisement, at the same time, i think it's undeniable that the changing information environment, the fact that this young generation that was coming up had access to so much more information, so many different points of view from within their own country as well as from other countries and had the ability to be in touch by a new media with many, many others to exchange viewpoints in ways generations before them could
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not do. i also think that there's been an increasing focus over the last decade or so on domestic affairs inside of arab countries opposed to foreign affairs. that's not to say people in arab countries don't care anymore about events outside their own countries. certainly they do about the palestine issue, about iraq, about many other things that have gone on, but definitely there has been an intensified focus on what is going on inside their own countries, and then there's something that happened in the last few years which is a sense that developed that their governments were perhaps vulnerable, were not to be feared quite as much as they were in the past. now, i could go on and on about all these thing which are very interesting to me, but i don't want to take a lot of time.
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we can discuss them more if you want to. i think the case of libya also is pointing out quite painfully the significant differences. i don't want to overplay these common issues among arab countries because i think the very, you know, frightening scenes playing out in libya now point out the difference between countries where there are strong institutions and countries where there are not. in tunisia and egypt, there was a cohesive military that was able at some point to make a choice. to make a choice, you know, between restoring stability to the country and maintaining loyalty to a particular leader. unfortunately, in libya, i think there is not, and there is not by design that kind of a cohesive military, and so we see this kind of fragmentation and
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use of violence, use of a much higher level of violence against the population than we saw in tunisia and egypt, although, let's not forget ring quite a few people died in tunisia and egypt as well. the implications i think for the united states and for u.s. policies in this region are enormous. u.s. priorities, policy priorities, have been completely upset by this. the obama administration came into office two years ago planning to work on israeli-palestine peace, planning to engage with iran to try to prevent the emergence of iran as the nuclear power, and frankly, it had no interest in what it saw as the failed freedom agenda of george bush. now, what we see is that these,
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you know, the demands for change in the region, were democratic government in the region have forced themself on to obama's agenda, and that he has chosen, i think, wisely to get on the right side of this and to be in favor now of this spread of democracy and human rights in the region, but i think the administration is playing catch up. they are trying very much now to show they were on top of the issues all along and were in favor of these things all along, but, you know, to be honest, there really wasn't much attention and much priority given to these issues to what was happening inside arab countries and change that might be coming from inside arab countries. there was not much attention given to that at all. over the last couple years, now the two other issues that obama
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wanted to work on, of course, are still there, and they are not going to go away. the palestinian situation, the israeli-palestinian situation, i think is unsustainable. i know that nadia will talk more about that, so i will not talk much about it, but i do think that the obama administration doesn't know where to go with that issue right now. we've seen several chapters of frankly failed efforts on the palestine issue, and i'm not sure they have a clear plan where to go with it now. also, unfortunately, you know, they are dealing with an israeli government that has showed really no interest i think in reaching an agreement with the palestinians and now seems to look at regional events as a
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reason to do less rather than more about that. regarding iran, i think we have brought some time with the effective sanctions and so forth, but the issue will be back. i don't agree, by the way, necessarily with the assessment that these changes that we see going on in the region and egypt and so forth are going to tilt the regional balance in the favor of iran. i think the united states needs to do what it can going forward to encourage successful transitions to democracy in egypt, tunisia, as well as continuing to do that in iraq, and let's hope there will be that opportunity in libya as well. in dealings with the other countries, the united states is going to have to start raising much more seriously the kind of
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significant reforms that -- there might be time still in other arab countries for leaders to take on top-down reforms rather than the bottom-up change that we're seeing in other countries. i think some leaders might be capable of doing that, others clearly, are not. i mean i think in libya, for example, there's no, you know, there's no and there never was a chance for real reform by the government. if we don't do our best to help successful transitions in the country where changes are already underway, i think the alternatives are dire. i still think the united states will have to learn new ways of working with democratic governments in these countries and will need to grow a thicker skin as these governments are going to be more responsive to
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their public opinion when it comes to the kind of foreign policies they're going to have, the relations they're going to have with the united states and so forth. the model that the united states has pursued which i thought of as kind of a 19th century model of personalized diplomacy with an individual leader or a very small group is just not sustainable. it's not even the way we do diplomacy in most of the rest of the world, and it's going to go out of fashion in the arab world as well. i'm not saying any of this will be easy, but i do believe it can be done. i think the united states can have good relations with democratic countries in the middle east that will be, although they will have their ups and downs and those governments will make decisions that we don't like or elect people that we don't feel comfortable with, i think these can be ultimately more mature and sustainable relationships.
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>> thank you very much. . . that may be the palestinian revolution would lead to revolutions throughout the arab world. that didn't happen. on the contrary, the arab regime consolidated their power and the plo and the palestinians, the palestinian revolution faced
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repeated crushing military blows including as you know in jordan, 1771 in lebanon in '82, '83, and the occupied territories many times most recently the 2,002 horrific invasion of the war of the city and gaza in 2008, 2009. and so, while many today are asking if the palestinian revolution is even still alive, it's really fascinating to see the arab world. being swept by non-military revolutionary movements. a civilian uprising, which are using both new and old techniques and bringing together all ages and all religions, many of which, many of these techniques and approaches were in fact previously used by palestinians for the example in
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the first from 87 to 1983. so i guess the irony and the question for us today is can the arab revolution resuscitate the palestinian revolution. - perhaps the first most immediate impact of the egyptians in israel uprising followed as they were by what's going on in yemen, bahrain and libya as well as iraq has been too underscore beyond the shadow of a doubt that the arab people are willing to stand their ground and face death and injury to demand their rights, their basic human rights, including, but not only the right to free and fair elections so that their governments can truly represent them and be accountable to them to the electorate and so the state budget -- we always talk about elections but we forget about the budget, state budgets
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or corruption free and provide free, fair and meaningful opportunities. so, the remaining arab regime, the ones that are not facing these uprisings are trying to head of the process either by providing more money to people and other ways. similarly the palestinian authority and, has helped move from ordering its security forces to crack down on the demonstrations in support of the egyptian revolution and to try to get closer to the people it claims to represent. and furthermore, it's trying very hard, the p.a., to reclaim space credentials and revive mandates that have long since expired. as you know, the p.a. quickly announced the cabinet that followed also very quickly by announcements from municipal as well as legislative and presidential elections before
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september. and as you know in those protests that the palestinians were able to hold in the occupied territories once the p.a. listened up the people demanded an end to the split between hamas and gaza and the west bank. so we have now another response from the palestinian authority partly in response to popular feeling that hates this split. but also to the disappearance from the equation of the mubarak policies on palestine and the loss of a major backer of mahmoud abbas and the p.a.. we see the p.a. now making gestures toward hamas, as we see a shift from a quick shift from the unilateral elections which hamas immediately rejected in the absence of the national unity to the invitations from the ramallah based to join the government. equally important, they said
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hamas could stay on the gaza strip and keep up its security control and i think perhaps the most important thing he said so long as hamas meetings the koln and in other words the cease-fire with israel that nothing else mattered. everything else could be worked out. so, as time goes on, we may be look back at the statement of fouad as the beginning of the end of the three conditions of the quartet to have hamas joy in the political process. so suddenly the palestinians are beating in response to their own demands and needs and not in response to external in post agendas. the arab and revolutions have also impact on the relationship with its main backer, the united states. we saw the p.a. stand and the plo stand their ground on the resolution condemning settlements and they refuse to
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back down as requested in a 50 minute previously the u.s. had to use both carrots and sticks to try to get the p.a. to withdraw the revolution so they wouldn't have to veto, but despite a 50 minute phone call from barack obama to mahmoud the loss they refused to do so. of course the p.a. position was already weakened because of its stand it took towards the report, but had already made it vulnerable, and in the week of the arab revolution simply could not say yes to barack obama. and it's really interesting to see some elements of the party kind of of the antiin the relationship with the united states and the kind of replay
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you have the p.a. officials in east jerusalem now breaking off contact with the u.s. consulate in jerusalem and refusing to accept aid from the u.s. so rather than the u.s. boycotting the p.j. or the palestinian authority the reverse needs to happen and the jerusalem lights are urging other palestinians to do so. now should we see these moves and understand these moves as a shift to self-reliance and to reclaim the leadership of the palestinian struggle or simply as a way to buy time and to stay in power by the regime and i want to see regime because we have to, one in the west bank and one in gaza. certainly some of the moves are genex and show the democracy better than the real thing. we have fouad going on facebook and inviting any palestinian who likes to suggest people, ministers for his cabinet, and
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so, that is i think to my mind a gimmick. what is certain is they do not really address the challenges that face the palestinians. the attacks on gaza are continuing every day. everests of the west bankers including children are continuing every day. the intent of colonization of east jerusalem, nothing stopping that. the expulsion of the palestinian beduins and others from the homes and land of the west bank as well as in israel itself where the civil liberties of the palestinian citizens remain under threat. none of that is challenged by these actions of the p.a.. and as meshaal pointed out, you know, there's been a focus on the domestic affairs of different arab countries, similarly this attempt to put the palestinian house in order by the p.a. by bringing them
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back together is only scratching the surface of putting the palestinian house in order and i think the palestinians most pressing demand and need work very well expressed by the general union of the palestinian students of the end of january in a statement in which they launched the beginning of a campaign for direct elections to the palestinian national council for the reason of, the reason being to restore to find a way to restore the palestine liberation organization as the sole legitimate representative of the palestinian people where are they maybe. the statement goes straight to the heart of the we palestinian governments have been completely skewed and they pushed the drive to get the states almost any price completely away from the movement for liberation for the
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palestinian people. the plo has been allowed to shrivel and we have to look at the student union and give it some importance because the student union is an integral member of the plo and has many of the palestinian leaders and we all started as leaders in the general palestinians including arafat and others. so it has some potential to begin or to join a movement for change on the ground. so just a couple of words and looking to the future. there are some trends that would help the p.a. regime maintain its position and putting the fact that the west and the western media remain very vested in what i call the fouad dream of institution building under occupation and to try to get a say as well as growing support for the u.n. to the p.a. plan to
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seek new recognition of state couldn't timber and supporting and allowing the p.a. to stay on could be hamas willingness to strike a deal so it, too can stay in power so hamas would strike a deal and other palestinian factions would join them or not as they want. so all of this could perpetuate the regime in the west bank and gaza but none of that would help to shake israel's control of the territory. on the other hand, there may be a real palestinian revolution against the regime claiming their presentations starting from the grassroots movements and perhaps spreading to other unions and as well as palestinian community in exile to revise the plo so they have authentic representation of their aspirations for freedom
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and self-determination so for the palestinians for the other arab sisters and brothers the outcome will depend on the extent that they are able to stay the course and impose their will. thank you very much. [applause] >> ambassador maksoud? >> fees' point the way for me to say one, that we are at this moment of history at the palestine center, palestine remains the center. and in that sense, i would now try to disabuse some people about the trust of these movements that have taken place
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now and are in the planning perhaps in the rest of the arab nation. you'll excuse me i will mention the term arab nation. and although that still doesn't sink in, the fact that the interrelationships that have developed with similar objectives meant that the arab world was a wealthy nation of poor people so how do we structure or how we understand the dynamics of the evolution. i say evolution of development because they have not been --
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they haven't fulfilled the evolution itself they constitute the vessel and in power in the political what miss thir and those who obstruct the half of the evolution the evolution of this context cannot be perpetual. the revolution is a blockage to the evolution that it possesses. when the process is arrested, it was also be a human rights, human needs through the power of governments reckless sometimes, roofless most of the time and that the revolution becomes the
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instrument of the story and the historical evolution to its normal course. if we understand this to mean what took place in the arab world than we can come to grips with an easier understanding about why the united states in particular have always identified stability within mobility, political and mobility now has the president has explained, there is perhaps a reassessment taken place. stability in a poor nation with rich people is provocative, and
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with the communication revolution, it speeds out the awareness and the consciousness, and what is taking place throughout the arab world is a transcendence to a very large extent. of the diverse components of what constitutes an arab, and because they have been traditionally translated or interpreted as a sort of ethnic etc these young of the trade unions of women have transcended
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in defining the various categories of components of the arab people in to diversity sabrue the diversity as rejecting the spirit of what constitutes pluralism. that is where the term arab becomes the law event because it is becoming our identified with the inner-city and the notion of equal citizenship. this is why lebanon still remains a healthy civil society and the most reactionary system of governments. fifer the shiites etc., that
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remains that lebanon is complete sympathy with what is taking place on the level of civil society and a genuinely worried about its pluralistic system becoming a system of diversity. diversity in the sense that you don't eliminate particular is some, but bring it to a population. this is one thing. the second, there is as i read today in the papers expressed by mr. netanyahu and all that about the iranian model that is now becoming the most important regional power let me also try
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to construct this growing realistic assessment which is not realistic i will put it in quotations. what is more relevant if you want to have a paradigm in the region what is more relevant for this era of national people uprising is if there is to be a model is turkey, not iran. iran might have been an attraction when it overthrew the shah of iran and promised, but turkey has evolved and a more peaceful way secular alternative to islam, the process is starting. and that is why when the year and a society of israel and some
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of its basic neoconservatism in the country, what about everything the youth came and empowered. they attracted the most educated students and teachers. all they can think of, what about the muslim brotherhood? the muslim brotherhood took three days to join, then if they had to join the young earth elements moved into this liberty square until the leadership followed. second, muslim brotherhood is basically social service which achieved popularity in certain sections. but if you exclude them, you deny the legitimacy of the upheaval and the uprising that took place. and in terms of responsibility,
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even the strongest advocates of islam in the fundamental views are impacted by the liberal democratic social litmus fear that is emerging and accompanying the of people in egypt. same thing there is a fear now but not the prime minister but the leader who was received first thing he said is we are not going to ask the women to wear the pune job or not the the the fear of islam is being replaced by the impact of liberal democracy on the muslims who felt it was the only anchor for their opposition and that is why many of them have experienced suffering and discrimination.
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so,, there's lots of issues. unfortunately there is now i hope a temporary exception between the two countries which are still amenable for this space transformation and with no apologies to the new neoconservatives, iraq is not one of them, a democratic achiever. neither is lebanon in the sense of the word. there secretary and predicated on the sectarian divide. they are pluralistic in their society unlike what happened in the square in iraq and cairo where the muslim brothers protected the prayers and the
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christian copps protected the muslims against the regime. it's nice not to save regime. [laughter] so, how does this impact, how do we see is the infection and expediting the process between the focus of having it transformation. all of a sudden within two, three weeks, egypt which is the center, and egypt -- i know some people say and partly reality this is an egyptian, not arab,
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of course not afraid to say arab, of course the people, the observers, the experts, the think tanks, no, no, you don't understand. this is nothing to do with arab or the legacy. this has nothing to do with palestine in the sense of the word, and approval of the matter is that the army when it assumes the power of transition said we are going to maintain our international agreements and relations with israel. maybe. maybe. i'm not saying it is not possible. but let me say one thing, because i know a little bit about egypt. if from now on what may be very clear and asserted and it is not
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my wishful thinking, if israel's security for the last 50, 50 years in in the occupied territories continues, egypt will have imposed a cost on that but not by breaking relationships. it might have the investors, but it is not going to be a license for israel to do what it's doing in the west bank and gaza. and kennedy is going to be penalized. what kind of penalty it will take at this moment, i cannot state. but the impunity of israel, the egyptian people who are now involved in leading this transfer of power who are the
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way to be mostly recipients of the government, the army recognized the legitimacy, and it is now transferring of the legality through a transitional period. now, when hooley devotee of legitimacy blend together, then there's going to be a reassessment. there's going to be an insistence between peace and egypt and israel. we want to know what is the status and in the united states is very important what is the status of israel's presence in the u.s. and gaza, you would say occupied to read as israel acknowledge it is an occupying power? is settlement the reflection of the ownerships, isn't it a
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reflection of not ownership only the of progress rather than occupations? and therefore, that kind of avoiding and allowing somebody to manage the relationship with the authority was one of the greatest moments of reason in dealing with the palestinian question. and so, when i said we are at the palestine center they are saying the main center criteria despite the fact that at this moment the priorities are there to consolidate what has been achieved. thank you very much. [applause] >> we are going to pass around
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the microphone so that we can take questions. bye show of hand, how many questions to we have now? okay. i also want to mention at this time for those following the webcast you can send in your comments at this point and questions and we will be happy to direct one or two of those to our panel again on a sweater that is shoutmac perlsteincenter and on the webcast page. why don't we start right back there. >> if you could keep the questions brief and let us know who you're directing your question too. >> anyone who wants to answer i think the main question is why are foreign policies completely incapable of comprehending what's going down and i think they don't have the analytical tools -- they don't understand what happened in iran two years
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ago, and what we are seeing is a situation has ruptured. understanding what happened five minutes ago it helps you understand what will happen five minutes from now. and this is really the fruition of what was fought 20 years ago called globalization and it is going to spread into wisconsin -- [laughter] and it's going to completely undermine the corporate model. >> anyone want to take a stab at and why we fail to see any of this? >> just briefly, look, if we look at, you know, there were these trends that i mentioned, you know, the demographics, the change of information, you know, the fact that there was a young generation coming up that just were not willing to keep
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pleading by the rules that their parents had played by in terms of the relationship between citizens and their governments, but these things are all very sort of -- they were all seen as a bit amorphous, and let me just speak of the last couple of years when the current administration came they felt a lot of damage had been done to the bilateral relations between united states and the muslim majority countries and they set themselves to that asked of improving sort of government to government relations. they returned to i give very traditional conception of diplomacy and, you know, they were much less focused on the people of these countries, with the u.s. relationship with them is or trying to understand what is going on with them. and there were a number of people saying that this is an anachronistic, you're conducting
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diplomacy in a way that, you know, the water is effective and no longer works, but i think it's taking these events to really bring that to the surface. >> where's the microphone? right there and then we will come up here and go across the room. >> [inaudible] i have two questions, one of them regarding the national council and the other is regarding israel. my question is concerning the palestinian national council and i think one key factor to the restoration of the palestinian is the involvement of hamas and the plo, and my question is do you see any potential for hamas joining the plo under the
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current situation? my second question concerning israel, when the revolution was going on in egypt, one of the israeli government spokespersons said israel is not interested in a space regime in egypt. my question is what was the reaction to the government in egypt and other countries? >> first of all, when the plo was conceived, it was an organization of palestinian people, and identity for the right of refugees to return. it was called the palestinian liberation organization, which meant it was the framework of palestinian people. of course, hamas at that time
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wasn't present in the early part 1987. if the plo is to be represented of the palestinian union which it seems to be representative of all the palestinian people, then now the advocacy restoring the palestinian national unity is that hamas has to be included in the framework of the palestinian organization. it cannot be an alternative to neither can it be excluded, so this is going to be what you might call a catalyst movement within the palestinian organization or both would be irrelevant to the requirement of a palestinian national unity. the second question is of
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course, israel considers stability is the situation should be stagnated, not stable, and therefore, it uses the term stable because stability to the revolution because they want to stabilize even after the fulfill their objectives the want to stabilize. when a stability is fixed with stagnation then they don't want change and the of proven that. with their anxiety at this moment lies more with egypt under sadat and under mr. mubarak where they were selling the gas at one-third the price that they were charging
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but the egyptian people. so, i mean, they were having lots of advantages. had it come at the time they didn't have the need for the relations to the stability it doesn't mean stability in the usual connotation especially when it pertains to the arab region and especially when it pertains to the stability in the perpetuation of the peace treaty as it has been practiced not as it has to be changed at a later stage. >> can i just quickly add up the plo and hamas. i think what scares me is that hamas by the way is always a part of the negotiation between the reconciliation, one of hamas's demand was to reconsider the plo and of course to bring it and other excluded political
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forces within the plo, and hamas also still pays at least pays lip service to the palestinian refugees right for return, both of those things. and i think what one has to look for is whether because the people who on the ground can control, have more power to control than the people who are in exile and whether hamas will kind of at the expense of if you like the plo and the palestinian refugees and that would enable them to stay on even in the current situation that is not -- doesn't bring about freedom not even for the occupied territories so that is what would be worrying. >> can i just add one more point because -- first of all, the
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veto is a combination of the field process because when president obama with the most decent requests asked to freeze the settlements for ten months, you don't freeze settlements, you dismantle them because you don't alter the demographic character. as much as this legal base for there is no negotiation, there's discussions come streaming of police from who might be part of the resistance, yes, you might have technocrats in the stage, yes, but you don't feel the
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settlements. when you put the bar solo no negotiations took place. one of the victims of this whole process was unfortunately senator mitchell. when you don't acknowledge this is an occupied territory under the convention it becomes almost hopeless and the best is not to veto, it is when he asks an extension of freezing from israel and its rejected and then still the united states votes to keep a certain atmosphere of process continuing. that's my observation. [applause] spin again the interest of time we are going to take a few questions together. i saw hands up here. right here and then can you get the microphone up here and then
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we will come over there as well. >> thank you. my question as was just mentioned that i was really confused by the explanation that ambassador rice said -- she voted against the decision, the plo, but at the same time said this should not mean that we think the settlement the legal. what does that mean? it doesn't make sense at all to commend my point is do you expect any change after this? [inaudible] i want to keep in mind there was
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a column in "the washington post" who said today obama is very slow in reacting. >> we had a hand up here. >> [inaudible] about non-violence during this last month. i had been so impressed that all of these movements have taken such a nonviolent approach to the revolution. and i wonder what impact that will have on the palestinian movement and what impact it will have across the arab world to witness such a change with the protesters taking up arms. particularly as you look at some references to gone beyond the nonviolence movement and dr. king and the nonviolence movement here or what impact you think that will have and will be
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sustainable in the future. thank you. >> right here so we can get another question. >> thank you. why work for a u.s. government body and i am not speaking on their behalf in this case. i doubt that the u.s. not getting involved in this process is going to be an option, and i do wonder what it is we can do in ways that don't fall into the traps that we often fallen to where we are looking for personalized leadership or we are trying to manipulate local politics and in that not doing a very good job of it which we have our old fears of muslims we still have to overcome. what are things we can do that would do the most and cause the least amount of harm and what sense is doing nothing a useful option?
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>> so we've got three different questions. would anyone like to begin? >> i could start quickly with the question on the non-violence which is a very good question on how the -- hauer it will impact, and i think one of the things i find somewhat frustrating is the myth that the palestinians resort to violence because the palestinians have had several non-violent uprisings in their history including 36 to 39, 1936 to 1939, and including for about four or five years was an almost completely non-violent uprising that was -- that have a huge impact on public opinion around the world, but unfortunately the plo did not know how to translate into political power. however, i do think that now
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seeing how long violence can lead to tangible results will give an additional push let's say within the palestinian context to the to ongoing nonviolent struggles. is the struggle against the wall which has been under way five or six years now and which everyday people are paying a heavy price to go protest against their land being confiscated as well as the boycott and sanctions movement which is a very, very good mom for went tool and i think that will spread in the other countries. very quickly on the question of what should the u.s. to i like the option of doing nothing really. i think that was a good and healthy approach. there is nothing to stop the u.s. instead of treating the region as its to control or seeing the resources has basically its advantage to treat
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the air of a country as though they were britain or france or a sovereign nation that nobody's going to stop selling oil. they need to put a sovereign nation but interacts with nations i think the days of trying to - well, i don't think they are over sadly, but they should be over and the sooner, the better. >> okay. let's see. just briefly on fees three questions. look, on the veto at the u.n. security council, you know, i think clearly first of all i think president obama wanted not to use the veto at the u.n. security council at all during his presidency. there's this renewed emphasis on the multilateralism and so forth. so clearly they did reluctantly in a way that i think what it was is it was many years of past practice and intense pressure from the congress and so forth,
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and coming into the midst of the rest of this crisis and so forth, so they did what they did. regarding the use of nonviolence and the impact on the region of course we are going to have to see in a way how successful, what is the ultimate outcome, how do these situations look? they started out nonviolent and then in tunisia and egypt in a rather inspiring way what is the outcome going to be a few years down the road? i think at the moment it is notable that al qaeda has been pretty quiet because this is not there model change in the region, right? people could bring about, you know, nonviolent change, and so if it succeeds in bringing about space governments people are reasonably satisfied with and what ever i think it will be very important models. regarding what the united states
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can do, i'm going to differ with you will let -- a little bit, nadia, because i think we are going to have -- these new government all role for the asking for assistance from the united states so what we going to do? cno? especially country like egypt, a former major ally and aid recipient and so forth and now they say we are making a transition to democracy. please help us. we are going to say no, not any more. i don't think that's really an option. i do think though that in the assistance -- echford symbol in the assistance, the package to eject i think needs to be completely rethought, the balance in that assistance, $1.3 billion military 250 million economic i think is inappropriate in this new era and needs to be completely revisited. i think in the kind of assistance that the united states offers in these cases we
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should do what we can, understanding we are outsiders and understanding there will also be other europeans particularly vv, you know, will be involved in the development of systems in these countries. you know, space systems, and to, you know, stay a little distant from the outcomes. i do agree we shouldn't be trying to pick winners and that kind of thing. >> non-violence, there is no question i lived in india for six years, and nonviolence should be the means of resistance. resistance three demonstrations come through appeal to the conscious of the world come through appeals to the united nations all of these exhausted as priorities distinguishes from
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terrorism. but it doesn't mean dropping the option of militancy because it allows those who are violently denying wright's that this becomes not peaceful resistance. resistance involves the options as first options, and militancy where hamas made a mistake because it transfers resistance through revenge, and that's where the palestinian authority drops resistance as an option in order to give way for the peaceful negotiation.
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the second thing what can america do at this moment? it can't do much. let me say why. it is committed to a strategic superiority and also now with the f35 going to israel it's committed to the strategic as a constant of its relationship with the region. with this new revolution in the development in the arab world accept that that around 280 million people equal to around 25, 70 million approximately -- 7 million to have strategic over the arab world. i don't think that is going to
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be sustainable. it can be enforced but it can't be sustainable as an enforcement measure. the second thing is president obama has many priorities, this is a temporary parity taking place. this pretty are the internal priorities of the economics, social security, and yes congress which when apec goes to the congressman the immediately sign so it's around 329 congressmen saying that he's there because he's asking for the freezing emphasizing on pressure on our only ally and the only democracy in the region. now, how he has to calculate the
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analysis they can inflict on his other agenda politically because apparently israel has become willy-nilly a political factor in the united states nobody is saying abandon israel. nobody's saying don't help them, but if it is going to be on the basis of continued strategic superiority over the palestinians and over the arab world in general, it's when to be included when the legitimacy becomes legal. it's going to be included egyptian policy, and even instances with others, so if i have any kind of appeal to the
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senators which i did in 1986 when they signed something about -- at that time senator biden who revisited when i was in the route he came and we had lunch and was friendly, not friends but friendly, he invited us for breakfast with some of his colleagues four or five senators and he said what you want us to do? i said nothing. they are able people, just give the impression and since then he was very upset with me. so in a sense the constituency of elected obama in the united states to explain, to counteract
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the notion of the strategic superiority and from israel they have the influence to do it, that you are an occupying power because israel doesn't define it used to be on 276 the united states has occupied. they might say occupied but they never treated such. you don't deal with israel is an occupier. it's an occupying power i tell you the peace process is the process without peace like the road map is an
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